Italy probing Apple and Samsung over planned obsolence

Italian watchdog launches probe into Samsung & Apple over 'consumer reports' of planned obsolescence

A South Korean consumer this week also filed a criminal complaint against Apple CEO Tim Cook over iPhone slowdowns, Reuters reports, accusing the firm of "destruction of property and fraud".

Italy's Anti-Trust Authority said that it has begun proceedings against Apple and Samsung for unfair trade practices.

On Jan. 18, the Italian watchdog said it has started investigating allegations that Apple and Samsung had deployed software updates to slow their smartphones to force customers to buy new handsets.

Apple and Samsung have found themselves in hot water in Italy as its government's antitrust unit is investigating both companies too see if they purposely designed software to run slow on their respective devices.

It's also interesting that Samsung is being included in the AGCM's investigation.

Apple and Samsung are suspected of orchestrating "a general commercial policy taking advantage of the lack of certain components to curb the performance times of their products and induce consumers to buy new versions", the watchdog said.

Then again, the whole iPhone performance throttling debacle feels pretty unusual for a company that generally prides itself on putting the customer first, not to mention those multi-billion dollar yearly marketing budgets that should really help avoid PR disasters of this magnitude.

The agency states that the companies do not notify users that software updates run the possibility of slowing down their phones, and might be using consumer ignorance to prompt users to upgrade.

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